A player with horns may use them to butt an opponent. This adds 1 to the player’s Strength when he makes a block. However, the player may only use this ability as part of a Blitz, and only if he has moved at least one square before he makes the block (standing up at the start of your Action does not count!). If the player has the Frenzy skill, then the Horns bonus applies on the second block if it applied on the first.
Horns has had a slight change under LRB5 in that you no longer need to move a square to get the +1ST bonus when you blitz. This doesn’t have a massive impact but there are certainly times that you will benefit from it. Clearly then it is a skill that benefits players who are going to be blitzing a lot. It is no good sticking it on a blocking guy who will usually just be next to a player already they can just hit. On the same token it loses value for players who have low movement and can’t dodge very well, if you can’t get to the target you can’t use it!
As most turns it is fairly obvious which player on the other team you want to blitz you then look to the best player on your team to perform that blitz. This for a fair amount of teams is usually fairly obvious to you, especially on more developed teams where you have skills that benefit a blitzing player. Horns is one of those skills, though you may have things to consider about blitzing with a player who just has Horns, compared to one has Wrestle. The Wrestle player may need an assist to get an extra block die and if you don’t have anyone who you can spare you have to weigh up your options.
There isn’t a great deal of extra decision making in blitzing with a player who has Horns, it is just a case of treating them as though they have the extra strength for the hit. One thing to bear in mind though is if your player will be left in enemy tackle zones after the blitz, meaning they may get his back next turn. So if you are deciding between using a ST3 player or a ST2+Horns player, that is something you need to bear in mind.
- Lowers the need for Blocking Assists
- More Reliable Blitzes
Obviously as Horns is a Mutation skill there is quite a small selection of players who can take it. Chaos teams can now pick them on normal skills though Beastmen and Minotaurs start with it anyway so I can’t see them selecting it. Chaos Dwarf Blockers can take it on a doubles but I wouldn’t bother, they are slow and easy to mark. The Pestigors do most of the blitzing for Nurgle teams (partly because they start with Horns already).
So the other teams that can take mutations are Skaven, Chaos Pact and Underworld. Skaven can get some good use from Horns, though it is a doubles roll. The blitzers may be doing a lot of your blitzing as they can get Mighty Blow on a normal skill roll, so Horns will help them if you build up this way. Gutter Runners are also a good player to consider it for, there are other good choices for them, but having at least one with Horns can be really helpful. They move fast and can often get to their target. Often times the target will be ST3 though and it may be harder to get an assist there, so you can get an even block, or if you get an assist there as well you get the block in your favour instead. Because of the distance that they can move as well the opposition will have to be wary of them. On a side note Horns no longer combines with Dauntless (you add the Horns bonus first), so Dauntless may be a better choice if you have a league full of ST4 players. Against ST3 though, Horns will always work on blitzes while Dauntless may fail, though Dauntless can be used on normal blocks as well. The Linemen don’t often do much of the blitzing and the Rat Ogre is already usually strong enough and has better options for double rolls.
Chaos Pact players can take Horns on a normal roll (apart from the big guys) and it is a great choice for whoever you choose to build into blitzers on the team. The Goblin can get into cages easily, the Dark Elf is mobile and has AV8 and the Maurauders have AV8. The Skaven may not be the best choice as you are only AV7 if you end up having to stood in a place where you can get blocked back the next turn, though he is the fastest. As it is only a normal roll though I would get the more staple blitzing skills like Wrestle and Tackle (in Dodge heavy leagues) before considering Horns.
Underworld teams can all take Horns on a normal roll, I would look to getting it on a couple of Goblins. Their ability to dodge through tackle zones to the ball carrier is great. It may be worth waiting for some to roll a double skill first so they can take Wrestle, then get Horns on this player next. If you get Horns first then you may not roll a double skill on this player later on. If you also get a Goblin with Guard in there as well you can really disrupt some teams. Again the Skaven blitzer on this team for the same reasons as standard Skaven, though he can take it normally without needing a double roll.